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STEPHEN Bo WEEKS 

CLASS OF 1886; PHD THE JOH^B HOPKINS UNIVERSITY 



TiE WEEKS COLILECTKDN 

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AN ADDRESS. 



DELIVERED OCT 15th, 1892. 



Profkssor E. a. alderman, 






A!" THE 



Guilford Battel Ground, 

On the occasion of the Dedication of the Monument to 
the Maryland Soldiers. 



Pub lis lie d by tJie Guilford Battle Ground Company, 
January 20ih, i8gj. 



GREENSBORO, N. C: 
C. F. Thom.a.s, Book and Job Pkintkii 

189:^. 



AN ADDRESS. 



DELIVERED OCT. lf)TH. 1892. 



Professor E. A. ALDERMAN, 



Glui-Ford B.attle Ground, 

On the occasion of tlie Dedication of the Monument to 
the Maryland Soldiers. 



Publislied by the Guilford Battle (ri-oiind Conipaiix 
January 20tJi, iSgj;. 



GREENSBORO, N. C: 

C. F. Thom.\s, Book and Job Printer. 

1893. 



Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

University of Nortii Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://www.archive.org/details/addressdeliveredOOalde 



Ladies and Gentlemen : 

Tlierc are few periods of heroic greatness in any nation's 
life. Nations, like men, for the most part spend their 
days learning the arts of peace and gathering treasures 
which devitalize, and corrupt and weaken. 

Now and then, in human history, God sends times of 
thunder and storm to teach men truth of word, strength 
of thought and unselfishness of life. There have been two 
such periods in the life of this young continent — the War 
of the Revolution and the Civil War — and forth from 
each have proceeded the highest sanctities of life, and 
the noblest strains of manhood. Let it not be understood 
that we here seek to glorify war or to cultivate the purely 
military spirit. God forbid that this sweet autumn land- 
scape, bathed in utter restfulness and peace, and touched 
on grass and leaf and bough with the pathetic eloquence 
of death, should ever again be the scene of onset and 
battle and blood. Our purpose is not to apotheosize war 
and strife, but to commemorate that surpassing love 
which teaches men to die in defense of some great cause, 
and to celebrate the great works which " God did in the 
days of the fathers and in the old time before them." 

The most thrilling incident in human history, to me, is 
that pathetic inscription on the Grecian battle defile 
written by Simonides, now trite with reverent use: 

" Go, stranger, and to Lacedasmon tell, 
That here, obeying her behests, we fell. " 

There is here no word of self, no word about the glory 
of battle or the stern joy which warriors feel. Sparta 
simply said, " Go, and if need be die." And they went 
and happily died. After the lapse of three thousand 



years those simple words have power to quicken my 
pulse a:Kl stir m)- blood, h'or generations the}' influenced 
Grecian action and educated Grecian character. The 
Greek bo\' conned them for his morning lesson and the 
Greek girl sang them to the music of the h-re and cithera 
and harp and wh.en the}- were forgotten that beautiful 
race had become a breed of charlatans, hirelings and 
slaves. 

High memories and past deeds greatly influence 
national character. The New Englander shall never 
stand unmoxed b}- Pl\-mouth Rock while the sea washes 
its base, nor by that other simple spot v\'here 

"By the rude bridf^e that arched the flood 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Once the embattled farmers stood 
And tired the shot heard 'round the world." 

The Marx'lander and the North Carolinian should never 
stand unmoved on this ground consecrated by the valor, 
the constancy and the shedding of the blood of their 
forefathers. 

It was their part in an age of isolation and hardship to 
dare to die that they and we might taste the new and 
sweet experience of human freedom. 

It is our part, in piping times, amid splendid prosperity, 
and in a memorial age, to set a votive stone and by our 
thoughtfulness and care to re-create the dim past of their 
achievement, and to make it palpable and sunlit with 
filial reverence and recollection. 

We are met upon a great battle field of the American 
Revolution — the scene of the only pitched battle betvv^een 
the regular armies fought on the soil of North Carolina. 
Time was when the tangled thickets of a century shut it 
from the eyes of those who sought it, but the unwearying 
love and patriotic zeal of one North Carolinian has res- 



5 

cued it from the common ]andr,cape and restored to us, of 
another generation, its impressive outlines. Such unsordid 
and unselfish persistence towards some general good, 
such a manifestation of local pride and love of State can 
never be praised overmuch, and especially in this age of 
swaggering prosperity do we need to remember our 
homespun past, and to cherish the abstract sentiment of 
patriotism. 

For love of one's country is a gracious, a potent, an in- 
definable thing. Scoundrels have worn it as a gar- 
ment and hypocrites as a mask. Like a mother's love, 
or the sunset's glory, it defies statement and analysis ; 
yet our hearts teach us that it is a high passion of 
humanity and a definite influence in shaping national 
character. Somehow or other, the brave Switzer 
breathes it in his tonic air and his mountain tops 
have become citadels of liberty. The impassive 
Dutchman feels it in his sturdy blood and invites 
the enveloping sea to protect him from his enemies. 
It has nerved the arm of the English sailor and made it 
mightier on every sea. Amid the darkest hours of the 
Revolution when to the eye of flesh, blinded by despair, 
there seemed no way to peace and honor, it revealed to 
the eye of hope and yearning the straight and shining 
path of liberty and autonomy, crowded with the throng- 
ing future, and clamorous with the shoutings of a grate- 
ful posterity. And when these Southern States in thrill- 
ing revolution made their marvellous stand for the right 
as they saw the right, we all know how in mansion and 
in hovel, in town and country, over high and lov/ and 
young and old this holy emotion reigned like a king, 
nerving, urging — aye — deluding us up to the last bitter 
overwhelming moment. He who knows not this passion 
for country — this noble rage for fatherland — whether in 
the stress of battle or in civic conflict, may not hope to 



walk on the higher ranges of life and thought, but must 
forever creep along its valleys. Guilford l^attle Ground is 
no obscure spot. The Declaration of Independence vas 
a mere paper-writing of splendid words until March, 1781. 
Nathaniel Greene and Southern soldiery by dint of 
achievement on this field translated it into a modern 
magna charta of splendid fact. Here Freedom reared 
her bold bright face above the smoke of seeming defeat, 
and here, on these hills, amid the ilashing of the guns, 
was born this new and splendid experiment of represen- 
tative democracy. The harried South and the struggling 
colonies took fresh heart when this deed was done, and 
none may picture what visions of blight and ruin filled 
the mind of Lord Cornwallis as he stood in yonder val- 
ley, O'Hara bleeding on the roadside, Stuart stark in 
death, Webster mortally stricken, over one third of his 
veteran soldiery lying dead on the field, and felt in his 
soul the mockery of his barren victory. If all this be not 
the mere language of rhetoric, why has there not gathered 
about this field some measure of the historic impressive- 
ness that enwraps Lexington and Yorktown ? We shall 
not seek long for an answer. 

No brave, high-spirited, assertive, sensitive people have 
ever been so careless of their past as the people of North 
Carolina and the South. In every civil and military 
commotion in the making of this nation we have borne a 
sturdy and fruitful part. But we have contented our- 
selves with action. Our statues have yet to rise, our 
records have yet to be written, our monuments have yet 
to be erected. 



" Thoughts, that great hearts once broke for. 
We breathe cheaply in the common air, 
The dust we trample heedlessly 

Once throbbed in saints and heroes rare." 



No citizen of North Carolina has ever been put into 
bronze or marble. The ardent Carolina boy, fired with 
the Homeric spirit of youth and seeking for his hero nat- 
urally among his kindred, can nowhere look into the 
chiselled features of a son of his State gathering loftier 
aspirations and majestic lessons of loyalty and human 
immortality. 

The eloquence of our orators is a far, faint echo. The 
wisdom and care and patience that builded our social 
order, welded its discordant and diverse elem.ents, and 
created a unique and forceful civilization, have become 
the property of the beggar and are at the mercy of the 
historical scribbler. This is not wisdom. Nay, more, it 
is a high form of folly in governments resting on popular 
love and popular care. 

The infancy of all States is their heroic era, their high 
statured age, when into "grander forms our m.ortal metal 
runs." Each age will have its creeds and its philosophies 
despising all that went before, and, in turn, to be despised 
by the next. Each age will have its political panaceas 
for all human ills and the ills will not be cured by them, 
and fresh theories will be twined until the end of time, 
but great actions live forever and wisdom will reverently 
treasure them up. Let no one fancy that we are here 
solely to honor the men who here dared to die "and 
leave their children free." In a high sense we cannot 
honor them. Each lies in his narrow house and history 
has lit it up forever with her everlasting lamp. These 
men wrought their own monument by the strength of 
great fortitude and great love, and it lies about us to-day 
— the goodly heritage of a free home : this patient, con- 
servatively — progressive old Commonwealth, lacking in 
forwardness, instant in daring ; not sudden and quick in 
quarrel, but upon occasion as unbending as steel and as 
furious as the storm — this birth-spot of yours and mine 



and of our fathers, lovable in its ver}- limitations, and 
clad from its hard-beset and struggling childhood in the 
brave garments of unfailing common-sense, and unfalter- 
ing manhood — this dear, odd, just, home-like, God-fear- 
ing native land, guiltless of boasting, fruitful in doing, 
stainless in honor, with, its tender constraining power to 
make of a man, once a North Carolinian, a North Caro- 
linian forever ! And so we are come, the old man in his 
weakness, the youth in his strength, and these young 
women in their uhite innocence, to honor ourselves and 
by the contemplation of duty and de\'otion gather 
strength that 7('/: ma}- perpetuate in peace and honor the 
noble edifice which the fathers created in w^ar and weak- 
ness. 

Republican citizenship, indeed, is a sort of unceasing 
civic warfare. The battle ro}'al is waging all along the 
line this very quadrennial summer. "The jewel of liberty 
will not remain supinely in the family of freedom," but 
like a glimpse of the Holy Grail is won and kept by 
striving, by vigilance, and by purity. No kings or Par- 
liaments now menace us across seas, but new forms of 
oppression and new shapes of danger have been born 
into civilization and above the uproar of these titantic 
agencies the voices of unrest and discontent are heard. 
The great republic, destined in the economy of God to 
teach the beauty of peace and the sacredness of the in- 
dividual, still stands in need of men. 

" Ah God ! for a man 

With a head, heart and hand 
Like the simple ones gone forever and forever by, 
Autocrat, democrat, aristocrat — what care I? 
A man who fears God and can not lie." 

In the name of the State of North Carolina and of the 
Guilford Battle Ground Company, whose representative I 



9 

am, I welcome to the State atid to this field tlie represen- 
tative of the Maryland Historical Society, and receive at his 
hands this new memorial stone which he and Vv-e to-day, 
in filial love and in just pride, in the presence of this 
goodly company and of the sweet face of nature, set to 
the eternal honor of an heroic ancestry. Our distin- 
guished guest has spoken with power and eloquence of 
the part played by Maryland and North Carolina in the 
Revolutionary struggle, and I shall not seek to follow 
after him. Let this much be said, however : It does not 
become a North Carolinian to speak of tardiness in mat- 
ters of monuments and memorials when Harvey, and 
Ashe, and Harnett, Badger Mangum, and Macon sleep 
in unmarked graves, but one cannot resist an expression 
of surprise that the Monumental City should have waited 
one hundred and eleven years to mark the spot where 
her brave sons, led by Howard and Anderson, whose 
dust we trample, sprang like lions against the undaunted 
front of Stuart and his guards. 

The man whose patriotism does not glow brighter on 
the plains of Marathon and whose piety does not grow 
warmer amid the ruins of lona has become the subject of 
historic pity. Such pity may well be bestowed upon the 
Marylauder who does not stand bareheaded with a heart 
full of manly pride and exultation at Guilford Court 
House, at Hobkirk's Hill, at Cowpens — aye, at every 
Southern battle field from Camden to Eutaw. The first 
Maryland regiment was the heart and the hammer of the 
the Southern Army. What the Tenth Legion was to 
Caesar, the old Guard to Napoleon the Guards to Well- 
ington, this Maryland line was to Nathaniel Greene in 
every step of his God-directed flight from Carolina to the 
Dan. North Carolina, therefore, receives this granite 
boulder sacred to these men who shed their blood for 
freedom on her soil, with deep and reverent gratitude. 



10 

There is a story of the Eastern Greeks that pleases me 
well. Phidias, their \von(irous sculptor, had wronght 
from gold and iv^or}', a statue to 01}'mpian ?Ieus. 
Splendid in beaten gold and precious gem, sixty feet 
high, it uprose in the sky, a glory in the air. The beauty- 
loving Greeks enacted by law that the descendants of 
Phideas should forever guard it from harm or stain. 

Generation after generation did its duty and long years 
afterwards \\hen the Roman soldier climbed the hill he 
saw it standing, as of old, defectless and erect, glancing 
the sunlight from its burnished surface. Influences are at 
work to make of this spot the center of historic and 
patriotic interest in North Carolina. Each year some 
new stone is added. Here and there memorials arise, 
pathetic in their simplicity and cheapness, sublime in 
their purpose and motive. We pray that this work, thus 
begun, will be continued; that Virginia and Rhode Island 
and Delaware will remember their sons, that the National 
government, in the day of its power and youth, will re- 
member its creators, and that somewhere on this plane, 
broad-based and massive, there will arise a shapely 
column towards Vv'hich, in proud remembrance, the eyes 
of the men and the women of the twentieth century may 
turn in an}- hour of national disaster or despondency. 
Let yonder massive gtanite block, with its legend of 
" manly deeds and womanly words," stand forever a 
fresh and sympathetic bond of amity between the proud 
commonwealth that gives it and the proud commonwealth 
that receives it. 

Let it typify in its simple unhewn strength the stead- 
fastness and endurance of North Carolina w^hose sons 
fired the last shot on this neld, aud the unconquerable 
courage of Maryland, whose sons bore its deadliest 
brunt, and here plucked from encompassing ruin sub- 
stantial victory. 



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PAr. JAN 21, 1808 



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